Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tales from the Bucket: Perishable plant food

Don’t have the time to read my rambling? Short version: once you’ve exposed bokashi juice to fresh air, it’s time to drain and use. Bokashi juice must be used immediately; do not, under any circumstances, peek into the reservoir and decide there’s “not enough to bother with”—dilute for use as plant food, or just pour it, full strength, down the drain, but get it out of the bucket now, because it will spoil. And stink.

The retailers don’t make a big deal of saying this, because they don’t want to scare you off. And, really, how likely is it that anyone would just take a peek and nest the buckets back together?


On the most recent occasion, it wasn’t curiosity but clumsiness that let air into the reservoir (small apartment+ large nested-bucket system +cat underfoot, and I grabbed the top handle instead of the bottom one). Same result: smelly bokashi juice spreading stink into a perfectly healthy fermenting bucket.

Despite the stench, I think this may be a good thing. My mother always taught me that if it wouldn’t spoil, it wasn’t food; stands to reason the same applies to plant food as food for people. And lucky for me, I know the cause of and cure for that transient off-odor—once the juice is drained and the reservoir rinsed, the rhodobacters will take care of the rest. Pretty quickly, though not (sadly) instantly.

Happy bucketing!


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